Where the vision began

Kirsten envisioned a need for books and programs that could open up lines of communication and allow children to understand healthy choices. The skills developed during her years as a business owner (writing, designing and illustrating) have helped facilitate an all-inclusive package directed at healthy and fun choices. She now has eight books and fun, educational workshops for school-aged children from preschool to 5th graders.

In addition to writing, designing and illustrating activity books, Kirsten is a speaker and workshop facilitator teaching others how to make choices that positively effect how they interact, connect, eat, communicate, exercise and play. She has presented workshops to small and large groups, children and adults. She prefers group sizes of twenty and participation by the teachers. The activity books are provided to students in the workshops, and can be found at retailers.

 

Our Story

In 2010, author and illustrator Kirsten Klug created the Healthy & Fun Choices™ activity workbook to open the lines of communication between children and parents regarding healthy, fun choices. After physicians, dentists and teachers purchased copies of the books for their patients/students, Kirsten Klug realized there was a bigger neeed: programming.

In June of 2010, Kirsten was invited to speak at an assembly for 350 students at the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Oregon. The workshop was a lot of fun and many of the students and teachers had “aha” moments that were life changing. Kirsten gave the kids a healthy challenge: to drink only water for one week. After that, one boy decided to cut out cola from his diet and just drink water and milk. He asked his parents if they could save up money and go to the beach as a reward. He achieved his dream and realized how powerful healthy decisions can be. Kirsten was invited back to present additional hands-on workshops and be part of the health fair later that fall.

In 2011 in order to allow the books to be introduced in the retail market, Kirsten created five more books. That summer the books were sold through retail channels and at many local health fairs. The Oregon is Fun! Rain or Sun! book was selected by Made in Oregon and Powell’s stores. In the fall, Kirsten met a PE teacher at John Wetten Elementary and was asked to speak to their 786 students in January and give the students books as well. The program was very successful, it complemented the other healthy initiative changes the school was making and the elementary school was excited to received second-year funding.

In the spring of 2012, Kirsten created two new books and the Yes! I Am! Yes! I Can! Book was endorsed by National author Jeffrey Gitomer. Later that year, we received four corporate sponsors, which enabled Healthy & Fun Choices™ to be offered in Cascade Heights Charter school and a variety of other public schools within North Clackamas School District and Portland Public School District.

In 2013, Kirsten’s efforts were focused on elementary schools and reached 8 classrooms and 450 students. The teachers were impressed with the workshop and books, and many of them scheduled workshops for the beginning of 2013 school year. Pre- and Post-Assessment testing was done and are showing positive change results around increasing color food choices, increasing physical activity and decreasing screen time.

Donate

Your donation helps us reach underserved youth through schools and non-profit programs. To make a donation, simply click here.

Healthy and Fun Choices® is currently recruiting volunteers to help with the Family Event in January. If you are interested in helping us, please call Kirsten at 503-761-4360.

Nutrition

Nutrition includes what we eat, drink and crave. Our nutrition provides the fuel to get through our day and burn the calories that we need to burn.

A healthy nutrition includes:

• Colorful food choices
• Well balanced meal from all five food groups
• Good porportions and eating on smaller plate sizes
• Drinking fluids like water or milk
• Limiting the amount of sugar consumed each day
• Eating lots of greens (spinach, broccoli, chard, zuccini, peas, asparagus)
• Choosing to eat multiple times throughout the day
• Keeping evening meals or snacks light

Children need between 1,000 and 2,200 calories depending on level of activities. Adults need 1,500 to 3,500 depending on activities. And athletes need 5,000 or more calories per day depending on exercises and weight. Please talk to your doctor when selecting a healthy calorie count for your day.

Lost and found

My son and I had decided to go on a swimming date to Mt. Scott Community Pool.

When I parked the car and went to grab my wallet, I realized I hadn’t grabbed any money. I went into a little bit of a panic and thought do I drive all the way home to get money or do I just make an excuse of why it wouldn’t work? I decided the excuse wouldn’t be healthy and we really did want to go swimming, so I decided that within the car we would find enough lost quarters, dimes and nickels.

It became a fun game as we searched through seat pockets, in the front section and under seats. As it turned out we had about seven dollars in lost change. But was it enough? My son thought we needed nine dollars.

He opened the middle box and pulled out a bag full of quarters! It was perfect, we had found enough for our swimming date adventure. When we went inside to pay, the staff we’re really excited that we paid in quarters because they said they were nearly out. We saved their day. Our lost treasures were now found treasures.

Our swimming date was great as my son learned freestyle, held his breath under water for 13 seconds and decided that the slide was his favorite! What lost treasures could get you somewhere you want to go? Do you have anything that is more valuable than you thought right in front of you?

Vitamin D benefits health!

Just like a plant or tree in nature, Vitamin D helps individuals grow as well. It is just one of the reasons why SUNSHINE keeps us healthy.

Regular exposure to sunlight allows our skin cells to use ultraviolet-B rays to synthesize vitamin D, which has several benefits, including:
 
1. Allows the intestine to absorb nutrients, including calcium and phosphorus, which equals strong bones and immune system. People that live in sunny environments are sick less often.
2. Prevents weakness of the muscular system and brittle bones.
3. Provides calcium balance in the body that prevents osteoporosis or arthritis.
4. Regulates blood pressure, reduces stress and tension, relieves body aches and pains by reducing muscle spasms, reduces respiratory infections, helps in differentiation of the cells, aids in insulin secretion, helps fight depression, improves overall skin health by reducing wrinkles, makes skin soft, strong, and smooth, and improves cardiovascular strength by providing a protective lining for the blood vessels.
5. Prevents preaclamsia by improving kidney function, cancer by controlling abnormal multiplication of cancer cells, diabetes mellitus by controlling insulin production, hyperparathyroidism by reducing parathyroid numbers, osteomalacia by improving bone and muscle strength, hypophosphatemia by controlling the phosphates in the body, hypocalcaemia by preventing abnormal deposition of calcium, and renal osteodystrophy by regulating calcium content and fibromyalgia.
The benefits of vitamin D can be obtained by increasing exposure to sunlight and including vitamin D rich foods into your diet like fish, cod liver oil, milk, and eggs. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also good sources of vitamin D.

Counting Calories

Want to know how many calories are in the food you eat? Want to know how many calories you burn when you do certain physical activities? Here are some online charts that will help you discover your healthy choices…

http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-food-calorie-counter

Calorie Counter App –

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.about.CalorieCount&hl=en

Healthy Worksheets and Resources

The month of March 2013, Kirsten led a series of Healthy & Fun Choices workshops with the second graders at Happy Valley Elementary. The first week we discovered a variety of healthy food choices, talked about portions, and what makes certain foods more nutritious than others. We also got into teams and did fun and challenging tasks in the Banana Race™.

The second week we discussed how calories give us the fuel we need to get through our day. Students discovered that they should be eating around 1,000 calories every day of colorful foods and that their physical activity should also be burning off about the same amount of calories. Students participated in a variety of agility, balance and exercise activities to see what it would be like to burn off 200 calories in 10 minutes.

The final workshop we explored some fun ways to see how our choices provide balance and wellness to our body, mind and spirit. While doing lessons in the activity books, children have been encouraged to share the books with their parents and care givers to further discussions at home.

If you have any additional questions or would like to know more about future opportunities of having us in your school again, please email kirsten@bambooriverpress.com or call 503-761-4360.